A Note From The President
By: Genoveva Meza Talbott
February is the month of LOVE and we at the HBA are feeling the LOVE - from our friends and supporters. The HBA Dinner Committee has been hard at work fundraising for our 33rd Annual Installation Dinner & Scholarship Fundraiser
on March 5th. In doing that, we have called on you to invest toward diversifying the legal profession and you have responded with the generosity that we have come to expect from the Orange County community. I am proud to announce that we currently count on the generous support of numerous law firms, corporations, financial institutions, and law schools
. If you haven't already done so, there are still many opportunities for you to contribute. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit www.ochba.org/dinner2011
Though fundraising for our annual dinner is a top priority this month, earlier this week the HBA gladly participated in the El Sol Pro Bono Legal Clinic
, alongside the Public Law Center and St. Thomas Moore Society. Also, on February 18th, we will be a proud sponsor of the 65th Anniversary Commemoration Session of the landmark Orange County civil rights case, Mendez, et al vs. Westminster School District, et al a the US District Court
Indeed, though it's only February 4th, the 2011 board has already invested a generous amount of their time to advancing our mission. Besides working on the dinner and February events, we effectively "sold out" our Belize CLE trip
, and sketched a plan for the rest of 2011 at our January board meeting. Needless to say, I am delighted about working with this board to make 2011 a fantastic year.
Hope to see you all at our upcoming events and thank you again for the LOVE.
|HBA's Annual Dinner Puts Spotlight On Students|
This year's HBA's annual installation dinner and banquet (Saturday, March 5 at the Fairmont Newport Beach) takes as its motto, "Investing in Tomorrow...Our Future is Today," a theme that is woven into numerous facets of the program for the evening. Central to the theme is the awarding of Wally Davis Scholarship to three law students. "This is why we have a dinner, to raise money for our mission, which is to fund these scholarships," said HBA President Genoveva Meza Talbott. "This is the most visible way in which the HBA invests in our future, true to our slogan this year," Talbott said.
This year's dinner will be the 33rd formal banquet for the organization, which celebrated its fortieth year, last year. The dinner will recognize the HBA's other honorees, which include Google as Corporate Citizen of the Year and Regents Counsel in Martinez v. UC Regents, the lawsuit which turned back a challenge to AB 540, a California law that makes it easier for undocumented students to attend public colleges and universities in California. The HBA will also present Dolores Huerta its Hon. Francisco Briseño Lifetime Achievement Award, and will fete former HBA president Fred Sayre (2004) as its Attorney of the Year. The mistress of ceremony for the affair will be NBC Television's award-winning Vikki Vargas. But, even among such star power, the student scholarship recipients stand out.
The HBA has been awarding law school scholarships since 1987. At last year's dinner, keynote speaker U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis praised the HBA's historic commitment to law students. "Your scholarship fund has put so many young Latinos and Latinas on a path to achieve future success and your members have given countless hours of themselves to mentor our young people," Solis said. "And that, often times, is more valuable than the scholarship itself."
This year's recipients, Francisco Balderrama of UCI School of Law, Rosa Noyola of UCLA School of Law and Leticia Ramirez of UCLA School of Law, follow a rich tradition of worthy scholars. "These scholarships benefit the local legal community," Talbott said. She pointed out that recent scholarship recipients have been hired by Latham & Watkins, and by Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton, while five scholarship recipients have gone on to become public defenders; three others work for public agencies; and five more have come back to serve on the HBA board, including one who even rose to become HBA president. "The HBA's scholarships are a tool for diversity," Talbott said. "Seventy five percent of the recipients have been women."
Scholarship recipient Balderrama, a member of the second class at UCI Law described the importance of receiving a Wally Davis Scholarship. "It's such an honor to receive this scholarship from a Hispanic Bar Association in the county where I was born, where I received my undergrad education, where I am attending law school, and where I intend to establish my practice." Balderama expressed his gratitude for a legal community which deigns worthwhile to make the financial contributions which make his scholarship possible. "It's comforting to be part of a small but diverse legal community that is supportive of aspiring young Latinos," he said.
Talbott pointed out that merit is not limited to the receiving end of the awards program: "Our supporters are often times every bit the heroes as our honorees," Talbott said. Because of the strong track record of the HBA scholars' contributions, the most forward-thinking and results-driven law firms and companies in Orange County wish to associate themselves with the HBA's cause, she said. "If you look at our supporters, you will see a who's-who of the most successful and influential voices in Orange County," she said, "and we certainly will rely on the contributions of all our generous supporters to continue our mission this year."
|Annual MCLE Trip To Belize - SOLD OUT! -|
The HBA's 2011 Annual Memorial Day MCLE Travel Seminar to Ambergris Caye, Belize, has officially sold out, according to trip committee vice chairs José González and Carlos X. Colorado. Festival Travel, which has successfully organized the HBA's annual trips for many years, scrambled to find additional space to accommodate the demand. "We can probably make room for one or two more if they're interested," said González.
The HBA is taking in the English-speaking Central American for a 5 day/4 night excursion from May 26 - 30, 2011. The initial block provided for 60 travelers, but with those seats sold out, Robert White of Festival Travel is securing an additional ten spots, González explained. Popular with divers for its pristine waters, including its quarter mile diameter "Blue Hole," its official English language and peaceful history, Belize was chosen after an HBA survey revealed it to be the preferred destination from among various options. "Belize was the preferred choice, so we are only giving our members what they asked for," said González.
Having successfully completed the marketing phase of the trip planning, the trip committee turns its attention next to putting together the discussion panels that will provide trip attendees eight hours of MCLE credit. "In all of our trips, which have included destinations such as Huatulco, Mexico and Quepos, Costa Rica, we pride ourselves in providing seminars that match the mesmerizing qualities of our destinations," González said, "and this year is no different, as we have lined up retiring California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno to be our headline panelist, followed by many other exciting speakers and topics." González explained that the organization of the panels is a work in progress whose details will be revealed in the near future. "We are extremely excited about our trip."
|Meet The HBA Board: Rafael Nendez-Flores|
The Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County appointed Rafael Nendel-Flores to the Board of Directors. He is partner in the Irvine office of Fisher & Phillips, LLP. "I feel honored and grateful to be appointed as a HBA Board member," Nendel-Flores told HBA News.
His appointment was approved by the Board of Directors to fill a vacancy created by the departure of board member Luis Barba, who moved his practice to Los Angeles after accepting a position with Selman Breitman LLP. "We wish Luis the best," said HBA President Genoveva Meza Talbott. "Everybody wins: Luis got a great, new job. We now have a friend at Selman Breitman. And we have 'Rafa,' to boot," she added.
Prior to his appointment to the Board, Nendel-Flores was active on the HBA's Dinner Committee. He looks forward to continuing and expanding this focus as a director. "I hope to contribute to the HBA in a variety of ways," he said, "but I hope to focus on the HBA's mentoring and scholarship programs."
The HBA shows, said Nendel-Flores, "time and again that, despite their continued under-representation in the legal community, Orange County is blessed to have so many brilliant Hispanic attorneys who provide excellent service to their respective clients and that those of us who are fortunate enough to become attorneys have a duty to give back to our community."
Nendel-Flores got his JD from George Washington University Law School with honors in 2002 and he got his bachelor of arts from Stanford University. His practice areas include collective and class actions, appellate practice, wage and hour litigation, employment taxes, Americans with Disabilities Act, employment discrimination and related litigation and SUTA dumping.
Nendel-Flores continues to serve on the Dinner Committee and looks forward to this year's March 5 dinner, which he expects will be as successful as last year's dinner. "Last year's installation and scholarship dinner was wonderful," he said. "It was a testament to the HBA's clout that it secured Secretary of Labor Hilda Soliz' participation."
|HBA Co-Sponsors "PRO BONO CLINIC"|
For the third time the HBA teamed up with the St. Thomas More Society to organize the El Sol Pro Bono Clinic, in support of the Public Law Center's community legal clinic at El Sol Science & Arts Academy in Santa Ana this Wednesday, February 2.
As in the past two HBA-STMS-PLC partnerings, the event was intended to provide meaningful legal consultations to the members of the El Sol community, which include the families of the students enrolled at the school, as well as other users, such as adults who attend night school and weekend workshops at the school. In the two previous clinics held in March and in July of last year, consultations included questions on immigration, criminal and consumer loan cases faced by the clients. Many of the consultations were merely intake interviews referred to the PLC for further handling. And in some instances, the cases can be taken by the lawyers volunteering at the event.
The original HBA-STMS pro bono clinic to benefit the PLC was held in March of last year, when the groups decided to honor the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero with a "social justice" clinic for the PLC.
|HBA Co-Sponsors Historic Commemoration of Mendez Case|
The HBA is co-sponsoring a celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Mendez v. Westminster decision that will consist of a panel discussion featuring Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of UCI School of Law, Hon. Loren Miller, Jr., retired Judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, and Hon. Frederick P. Augirre, Judge of the Orange County Superior Court, at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, February 18 in Courtroom 10-A of the U.S. Courthouse & Ronald Reagan Federal Building.
The event is co-sponsored by the entire federal judiciary in Orange County, consisting of U.S. District Court Judges Hon. Terry Hatter, Hon. Alicemarie Stotler, Hon. David Carter, Hon. James Selna, Hon. Cormac Carney, Hon. Andrew Guilford, and Hon. Josephine Tucker, in addition to Judge Aguirre, who organized the event; with financial support from the HBA, and former HBA Presidents Joseph Chairez, Jess Araujo, and Carlos X. Colorado, individually, among others. "The handing down of the Mendez decision was a precursor to Brown v. Board of Ed., and it happened right here in our own back yard," Colorado said. "Needless to say, we encourage you all to attend, to send your young associates and law clerks, as we attempt to recognize the magnitude of this decision and the legacy of a precedent that was set in our County."
The HBA previously has sponsored commemorations of the Mendez case. For example, a clip from a documentary by Sandra Robbie was shown at last year's HBA dinner, and we also supported a public event at Chapman University, where former HBA President (and 2011 Attorney of the Year) Fred Sayre sponsored an exhibit about the case.
|Community Calendar & News|
'Community Calendar & News' is a courtesy bulletin board service provided by the HBA to its community partners. The posters of these bulletins, not the HBA, are solely responsible for their content. Unless otherwise noted, by publishing these billboard posts, the HBA does not endorse the views, services, products, causes, or candidates referenced therein.
|AFJC Foundation Holds Third Annual Improv Fundraiser |
Sunday, February 13 at Brea Improv; 120 S. Brea Boulevard, Brea, CA 92821
Tickets are $35/each and include lunch. Lunch begins at noon and the laughter starts at 1pm.
Tickets MUST be purchased in advance. To purchase tickets, you may buy them online here.
Questions, please contact Kerith Dilley, Executive Director at email@example.com.
|HEEF On-Line Scholarship 2011-12 Application Available|
The Orange County Hispanic Educational Endowment Fund (HEEF) serves students who live in Orange County (OC), California only. HEEF provides a limited number of competitive academic scholarships for OC high school and community college transfers who enroll at a four year college or university. HEEF also awards scholarships and tuition grants for OC high school graduates to attend community college. The OC Hispanic Bar Association awards several scholarships for OC students to attend Law School. See the "Hispanic Bar Association /Wally Davis Memorial Legal Scholarship Fund" tab under 'Scholarships Available' at www.heef.org
The Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) On-Line Scholarship Application for 2011-12 is available on the HEEF website at www.heef.org.
After opening www.heef.org, proceed to Scholarship Information, to the tab 'Requirements' in order to access the hotlink to the HEEF On-Line application.
*****On-line applications will be accepted through Friday, March 04, 2011.*****
|DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship|
DRI announces its annual Law Student Diversity Scholarship program open to incoming second- and third-year African American, Hispanic, Asian, Pan Asian and Native American students. Incoming second- and third-year female law students are also eligible, regardless of race or ethnicity. Incoming second- and third-year law students who also come from backgrounds that would add to the cause of diversity, regardless of race or gender are eligible to apply. Students who are members of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), law school or law student members of AAJ or students otherwise affiliated with or employed by AAJ are not eligible for DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarships. To qualify for this scholarship, a candidate must be a full-time student or evening student who has completed two-thirds or more of the total credit hours requirement for a degree by the applicant's law school. The goal of these scholarships is to provide financial assistance to two worthy law students from ABA accredited law schools in order to promote, in a tangible way, the DRI Diversity Statement of Principle.
Two scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to applicants who best meet the following criteria:
Download the Law Student Diversity Application for complete details.
- Demonstrated academic excellence
- Service to the profession
- Service to the community
- Service to the cause of diversity
|Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC) is hosting a weekly clinic every Thursday afternoon for Legal Genie|
Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC) is hosting a weekly clinic every Thursday afternoon for Legal Genie, a simple, affordable, and reliable online legal document preparation service for self-represented middle-income litigants who do not qualify for legal aid but cannot afford to hire an attorney. Legal Genie not only asks questions in a straightforward manner and completes the necessary legal documents about Family Law and Bankruptcy/Chapter 7 based on the client's answers, but also connects the client to LASOC's panel of attorneys who will review the documents and give one-on-one consultations by telephone.
Clients are invited to use Legal Genie on LASOC computers during the clinic, and staff will be available to assist with any questions about the service. For more information, visit www.legalgenie.com or call (714) 489-2719. By appointment only.
Job Opportunities for Attorneys - New Opportunities Posted! |
View current job opportunities for OC HBA members here >